Getting Out There

             Getting out there and learning more about the music scene is as easy as typing music into a search engine. Music is a major enjoyment shared by billions of people in the world. Most people who love something like to share it with their friends. The 21st century has invited all of us to be creators on the Internet and in essence given us a whole World Wide Web of friends. Because music is a love of mine, I have spent the time getting to know many different websites, twitters, and blogs. Since there are so many out there, some are admittedly better than others.

            Out of the websites I have two favorites, Rolling Stone and Daytrotter. In my previous two blogs I have talked about my love for Rolling Stone, however I have yet to mention Daytrotter. Daytrotter is a website with a anthology of new music. The site dedicates itself to finding the best music and sharing it with its audience. The cool look of the site showcases cartoon-like drawings to represent bands that are trending. The site also provides bios and information on each band and song they introduce, making the site incredibly enthralling for fellow music lovers that just can’t get enough!

            Twitter is a very useful way to keep updated on various topics and music is no exception. My favorite account to follow is Stereogum. Stereogum was one of the first blogs related to Internet shared music, giving much prowess to its opinions. Also I love the account because of its refusal to become typecast! The account sees no shame in tweeting about Ke$ha, Paul McCartney, and Matt and Kim. Stereogum, like myself, sees the value in all type of music and makes it its purpose update the blogosphere about all of it.

            An app I follow is Soundtracking; I talked about it a couple of blogs ago. The app, downloadable to any smartphone, is akin to a public music diary. When you want to find bands that haven’t quite made it to the surface, this is the place to go! Everyday people you follow take the time to post a song that is relating to their day, sharing emotions through music, creates a tight knit group on the web.

            Finding music, as well as listening to it, has been tackled by the ever-popular site Pandora! I don’t think there is a single person I know that doesn’t use this site. Pandora allows a user to type in an artist or genre of music and listen to all different songs similar to what the user typed in. It is genius and allows for people to find and discover brand new artists by doing what they love, just hanging out and enjoying their favorite artists! I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent downloading music I found on this site. Plus this site has capitalized on the popularity of smartphones and has converted its website into app form; allowing you to take the art of music discovery everywhere you go.

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Where to go?

When looking for research regarding music, it is important to have respectable sources that you trust. My favorite source to go to regarding history or upcoming events is Rolling Stone magazine online. This source is well stocked with many different types of information. Reviews of music, dates of album releases, blogs, artist directory, and much more are available on the site. I often visit the site in order to read reviews on new music. I have never witnessed an anonymous article or review on the site, which gives more credit to the site’s name. A writer that is unwilling to claim their work gives raise to suspicion about the article. Even more so, when I hear about a new artist I go into the artist directory in order to find out everything I can about the artist. Every post on this site is incredibly detailed; very rarely do I feel as if I have not been given a thorough report on a subject. The site also is more credible because it lists alternative sources in order to prove the facts listed on the site. Being willing to site alternative sources shows that the publication stands behind the work they have done and the facts they have reported. If a person has to stand behind there work they are normally much more diligent in making sure that they are proud of it. The reasons listed above are most of the reasons I love Rolling Stone, however, my favorite reason is the fact that so much history belongs to them. This publication has been around since 1962, formed at the height of so much change in the world. The magazine grew out of the inspiration of change, I believe that this is the reason it has lasted so long.

A polar opposite to Rolling Stone, LA Weekly Music Blogs West Coast Sound, is a site that hosts different writers posts about popular music. This site doesn’t seem to check what is posted. Allowing people the freedom to produce media, while a good thing, can also lead to false information. Another issue I have with the site is the fact that when referring to other sources and linking, the blog tends to link to other blogs on the same site. Unlike Rolling Stone, the site seems as if it doesn’t want to have the reader double check its facts. Some of the articles within the blog also don’t list specific authors, instead they hide behind the general identifier of LA Weekly Music Staff. While somewhat respectable, this moniker makes it difficult to check up on the credibility of past work. It also makes it cumbersome to have to look up individual members of the staff in order to double check their work.

Overall I prefer Rolling Stone, if I had to choose to trust one media source at face value, Rolling Stone would win over LA Weekly hands down! The safety net for Rolling Stone will always be in the prestige that it has built for itself.

My Obsession

         I must confess I live for music; the idea that notes and tones create a universal language, well that makes me down right giddy. I know that I am not the only person that feels this way because the amount of blogs, entertainment shows, magazines, and apps dedicated to music is down right overwhelming. Music taste is individual which makes it difficult to find media that I agree with or which interests me. My media usage regarding music is set up into different categories: fact finding, researching new music, listening to music, and downloading music. Depending on my need, I use different media outlets.

Without a doubt when I am looking for facts or new updates I consult Rolling Stone, either in app form or magazine. Rolling Stone has long been a leading source for music information. The magazine tends to get exclusive interviews and reports on all types of music, old and new. My love for music covers multiple generations and types of music, this magazine tends to be a one-stop shop. The app on my phone constantly keeps me updated on news regarding various performers, shows, and reviews. Although the reviews within the magazine may be considered on point, they can be very critical or avoid analyzing music just for the sake of entertainment value.

In order to find reviews that I know will help me, I have a few blogs that I frequent. I may not trust all of the information posted by the writers; however, I have discerned which bloggers share my taste in music. Finding blogs you agree with is trial and error and can take a bit of time. However taking the time is well worth it; if a writer shares my taste in music their reviews are useful to me. In the end, I read reviews in order to find new music and to decide whether or not to buy certain albums. Whether an acclaimed critic finds a new artist to be a musical genius, while informing and of value, doesn’t affect my music taste nor does it guarantee I will enjoy the particular artist.

Music continually changes and evolves, finding new music is a passion of mine. I love knowing about an underground band before the rest of my friends. The app Soundtracking has allowed me to stay ahead of music trends. The app is similar to a music journal. Different users post music and share their thoughts about other’s posts. Many small record labels have accounts on the app and share their artist’s music daily. Artists that virtually no one has heard of before are presented on the site! Daily trends are represented, showing users of the app what is the most popular.

The reliability of media creators, concerning music, is based for a large part on an individual reader’s opinions. If you love the same type of music of the writer whether it is presented in Rolling Stone or on a blog written by someone unknown, then that source is considered reliable to you, the individual. The option for friends to post videos of artists on Facebook is also incredibly helpful. People tend to only post music they find the most enjoyable, so listening to these posts can open one’s eyes to a totally different genre. Media based on music is all about sharing with others, in effect any site that talks about artists that I have never heard has positively served me.

My Media Consumption

            Yesterday I took the time to journal my media consumption. I placed note on where I went to find media, how much time I spent, and what I liked and disliked about the source. When analyzing my results I realized that most of the media interfacing I do is through the internet, more specifically on my phone. The convenience of having a smart phone allows me to constantly access the web. The ease of downloading an app to update you on the news makes it incredibly simple to stay in touch with the surrounding world. Being a journalism student it is incredibly important for me to keep updated on breaking news. I have The New York Times app on my phone, which allows me to access an online version of the paper everyday, as well as continually updating me on news as it progresses.

In the search for entertainment, another main function of media, I tend to watch Netflix, check Facebook and twitter, and download music. Facebook, twitter, and iTunes are all available on my smartphone just like the news. As a student, convenience is a major factor. I don’t always carry my laptop around or have internet connection, however, my phone is always connected.

When deciding whether or not to trust the media, a major topic discussed within this class, I base my decision on the source. If the source is acclaimed and has been around for a substantial amount of time it becomes easier for me to trust what they present. However, when reading a Facebook post I try to determine what the underlying purpose of the post is. Is the post’s purpose to entertain, shock, or inform? The writer’s intent makes all of the difference!

It becomes slightly more complicated when reading twitter posts by news organizations. While normally I would trust a direct story written on a newspaper’s website, twitter posts are updated at an alarming rate. Posts concerning breaking news tend to appear way before a website can be updated. Therefore, I am careful to question whether or not the same amount of fact checking was considered necessary. The fast pace of media today is a blessing and a curse. While the ability to alert the public of supposed events as soon as possible is wonderful, the time it takes to print out a newspaper allows for much more insurance against incorrect information. When you first read a post by a news organization, one can often go back later and find an adjusted post regarding the same situation.

Regardless of the higher possibility of receiving false information, the convenience of getting information right to your phone and as soon as it can be reported, largely out ways the consequences. I also believe that the fast pace of media is encouraging journalists to become more thorough. The importance of getting all the facts correct the first time they investigate a story becomes much more important. Our current, technologically run, generation could in fact be forcing professionals to become even better at their jobs; they can no longer always depend on the assistance of a fact checker and/or editor.